Hmmm... it is interesting how some get better and some worse. Perhaps your hormones went a different way to others although who knows. I only brought this up because I stumbled upon a study showing estriol use helped MS and some other people (non ME males) have been reporting improvements with it. I think it is messing with immunity some how. Might try estriol at some point but I am very wary being male so I was hoping some women would pipe up who tried it.
Sorry, I meant to respond sooner, but got the flu
I have tried estrogen/progesterone in the form of several birth control pills. They made me seriously, seriously ill and I think they could have even caused or contributed to my CFS state, because I began my decline after taking them. They caused all kinds of other problems for me. Estrogen is well known to cause many issues including clots and certain types of cancer.
I tried a "natural" progesterone later on and it caused massive problems for me-extreme depression and anxiety.
As for the HCG, I was very affected in all of my pregnancies by that hormone. I threw up at least 2x at day from Week 5-Week 16... so I wouldn't recommend taking that.
I don't mean to be discouraging. It's an interesting idea, it's just that hormones can be very powerful and I think they have the capacity to make things much worse. There are some tests you can get that look at your estrogen levels- it breaks it down to E1, E2, and E3. There are natural ways to modify estrogen.. I think Iso-phos was a supplement I took under a doctor one time, but I would not recommend it without testing.
I agree about the increased blood volume being a potential reason why some women feel better during pregnancy. I have extremely low vasopressin and I think I read that many with CFS have low vasopressin.
I was one that felt much worse during pregnancy and after was horrible. I get weekly IVs of lactated ringers which seem to help a bit. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound discouraging about the hormone idea. I think hormones could play a role in this illness, it's just that I have had really severe effects from birth control pills and pregnancy hormones.